The Cost of a DUI - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

The Cost of a DUI

LEE COUNTY, AL (WXTX) - New Year's Eve is just around the corner. As always, law enforcement will be out in force, searching for those who decide to drink and drive. Sheriff Jay Jones says you might be surprised at how expensive breaking the law can be.

"It costs thousands of dollars and I'm not exaggerating, it could run into the thousands of dollars if you are convicted of driving under the influence," said Sheriff Jay Jones.

Sheriff Jones is warning drivers, before you drink, consider a DUI conviction could cost you 10-thousand dollars or more.

 "Insurance companies as we can all understand do not look kindly on a DUI conviction. I can guarantee you if your insurance is canceled it certainly is going to go up," he said.

Your rate could go up forty-five hundred dollars or more.

If you are arrested, you'll need to make bail. That can cost between one hundred fifty and twenty-five hundred dollars, depending on prior charges.

Plus, you can't drive your car, so towing costs could be around two hundred dollars, more if your car is impounded.

Then it's time to find a lawyer. You can spend anywhere from two thousand dollars to twenty-five thousand dollars, depending on your plea. If you are found guilty, fines will cost between three hundred and five thousand dollars, depending on prior convictions. Plus, you will need an alcohol evaluation, that costs about three hundred dollars. Then you'll need education and treatment, those programs can cost up to four thousand dollars.

Finally if your license is suspended, you'll have to pay to get it reinstated and your job could be at risk.

"A lot of people think they can get some sort of provisional license from the court to drive back and from work, that's not the case, if it's suspended it's suspended," said Jones.

In addition to the "standard" costs of a DUI conviction, Sheriff Jones says there's one cost that will never go away, the loss of human life.

"You are basically rolling the dice, playing Russian roulette with a vehicle, the danger you present to the public and yourself is just isn't worth it. One night of drinking can lead to a lifetime of regrets and it's just not worth it," he said.

Sheriff Jay Jones says If you do plan on drinking, arrange to have a sober driver or to stay at the place where you will be partying. Again, law enforcement will be out in full force.

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